When guitarist Steve Hackett left Genesis for a solo career after touring behind 1977's WIND AND WUTHERING, he was the second major defection the group had suffered in as many years. Instead of helplessly disintegrating, the remaining trio circled the wagons and bounced back with the solid AND THEN THERE WERE THREE.
Rather than employ any outside studio musicians to take up the slack, Tony Banks, Phil Collins, and Mike Rutherford instead played every instrument themselves. Resolutely reflective throughout, this 1978 release finds Genesis populating its songs with a broad range of characters. Among the more memorable ones are the fast-talking record exec on "Down and Out" (a song that could be construed as a veiled swipe at the departed Hackett) and the larger-than-life cattle-driving cowpuncher on the synth-soaked "Ballad of Big." Although the songs on this record are more concise than Genesis' earlier, conceptual work, the band still retains the gift of capturing moods. The breathtaking "Snowbound" perfectly encompasses the feeling of stepping outside into a freshly minted snowfall. An air of yearning runs through "Follow You Follow Me," a romantic yarn that also became Genesis' first American Top 30 hit.
Mojo (Publisher) (3/01, p.82) - "...11 comparatively short tracks written largely in isolation. One of the few group efforts, 'Follow You, Follow Me', becomes their first US hit."